As we build the beloved community...
by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Mientras construimos nuestra querida comunidad …
Para la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones.
A Reflection on Gratitude and Recognition
Often I pause to marvel at this “voluntary association” that is the First Unitarian Church of San José. Take our Fall Church Retreat, for example: Diana Wirt and Kelly Burnett voluntarily organized a beautiful gathering for us up in the Santa Cruz mountains, with congregants from the Mission Peak and Los Gatos congregations further enriching our time together. Folks volunteered their time and talent to offer a delicious smorgasbord of workshops and activities. It was glorious. And I hear it was wonderful to be in San José that weekend, too, with a beautiful worship service led by Rev. Geoff and a host of volunteer worship associates, with special music volunteered by Frank Farris and Patrick Smiley bringing people onto the labyrinth to walk the “path.”
Honestly, it takes my breath away to recognize who we are and what we accomplish all because you choose to belong, you choose to contribute to this association out of your own free will and generosity, out of your belief in our mission. Think about it: First Unitarian existsand has existed for 143 yearsin downtown San José as a beacon of liberal religion, of social justice, and of personal transformation because you and our Unitarian ancestors have voluntarily given of your hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits to this spiritual collective. Wow! I personally owe every one of you and of those ancestors a heartfelt, handwritten thank-you note!
In truth, we are still learning how to thank each other. We are getting better; thanks to creative, thoughtful folks like Genie Bernardini, we have added annual rituals of recognition that lift up our volunteers. But we can never really thank each other enough, because at the root, we are runand the professional staff is paidby your voluntary contributions of time, talent, and treasure. (Can I just say it again? Wow!)
So, what about recognition for these gifts? Is public recognition itself a “good” or a “bad” thing? Should we not even try to recognize your generosity, just because we won’t be able to honor every single act of giving, and because surely we’ll miss some folks, which can be painful and embarrassing? To that I say, Let’s not give up; let’s simply become more and more mindful and creative in our recognitions!
Does public recognition take away one iota from the generosity of the gift or throw into question the motivation for giving? I say, Not at all. Recognition keeps us honest; it says, “We wouldn’t be here without you!” Recognition is a crucial part of the spiritual practice of gratitude, expanding our hearts and minds, deepening our sense of connection. It can inspire and strengthen us in our own giving, too, making us more generous people. Hallelujah for you who are willing to receive public recognition!
On the other hand, some folks like to give quietly, behind the scenes; they don’t want their names to be called out or scribed on a plaque. Hallelujah for you, too, because when we don’t know exactly who our beneficiary is, we are called to be grateful to everyone! Anyone might be our anonymous beneficiary, so everyone shines with an extra light because of your quiet giving.
Want to know the truth? I am happier right this minute because I’ve spent this time focusing intentionally on your infinite acts of generosity. May you find joy in this practice of gratitude and recognition, too!
With my love,
Una Reflexión en Gratitud y Reconocimiento
A menudo me detengo para maravillarme en esta “asociación voluntaria” que es La Primera Iglesia de Unitaria de San José. Aprovechando nuestro retiro de la iglesia de otoño, por ejemplo: Diana Wirt y Kelly Burnett voluntariamente organizaron una hermosa reunión para nosotros en las montañas de Santa Cruz, con los congregantes de las congregaciones de Mission Peak y de Los Gatos, congregaciones que enriquecieron nuestro tiempo juntos. La gente ofreció voluntariamente su tiempo y su talento ofreciendo un delicioso buffet de talleres y actividades. Fue maravilloso. Y oigo que fue maravilloso estar en San José ese fin de semana también, con un hermoso servicio conducido por el Rev. Geoff y un miembro voluntario de los asociados de culto, con música especial ofrecida voluntariamente por el Frank Farris y Patrick Smiley que trajeron a la gente al laberinto para caminar la “trayectoria.”
Honestamente, esto me dejo sin respiración para reconocer quiénes somos y lo que hemos logramos todos porque usted elige pertenecer, usted elige contribuir a esta asociación por su propia voluntad y generosidad, independientemente de su creencia en nuestra misión. Piense en esto: La Primera Iglesia Unitaria existe-y ha existido por 143 años-en San céntrico José como faro de la religión liberal, de la justicia social y de transformación personal porque usted y nuestros antepasados de Unitarios han dado voluntariamente sus corazones, mentes, cuerpos y espíritus a este colectivo espiritual. ¡Wow! ¡Debo personalmente a cada de ustedes y de esos antepasados una sincera nota manuscrita de agradecimiento!
En verdad, todavía estamos aprendiendo cómo agradecernos los unos a los otros. Lo estamos haciendo mejor; Gracias a la gente creativa y pensante como Genie Bernardini, nosotros hemos agregado los rituales anuales de reconocimiento que elevan a nuestros voluntarios. Pero nunca podemos realmente agradecerles bastante, porque en la raíz, estamos funcionando-y al personal calificado se le pagapor sus contribuciones voluntarias de tiempo, de talento y tesoro. ¿(Puedo solo decir otra vez? wow!)
Así pues, ¿que acerca del reconocimiento para estos regalos? ¿Es el reconocimiento público en sí mismo una cosa “buena” o “mala”? ¿No deberíamos nosotros incluso intentan reconocer su generosidad, solo porque no podremos honrar cada acto de dar y porque seguramente olvidaremos a alguna persona, lo cual puede ser doloroso y vergonzoso? A eso yo digo, no nos permitan ceder; ¡simplemente seamos cada vez más atentos y creativos en nuestros reconocimientos!
¿El reconocimiento público quita una pizca de generosidad del regalo o cave la pregunta de la motivación para dar? Yo digo, No en absoluto. El reconocimiento nos mantiene honestos; dice, “no estaríamos aquí sin usted!” El reconocimiento es una parte crucial de la práctica espiritual de la gratitud, ampliando nuestros corazones y mentes, profundizando nuestro sentido de conexión. Esto puede inspirarnos y fortalecernos en nuestro propio dar, también, haciéndonos a una gente más generosa. ¡Aleluya para usted que está dispuesto a recibir el reconocimiento público!
Por otro lado, alguna gente le gusta dar discretamente, tras bambalinas; ellos no quieren que sus nombres sean nombrados o escritos en una placa. ¡Aleluya para usted también, porque cuando no sabemos exactamente quién es nuestro beneficiario, nosotros estamos obligados a ser agradecidos con todos! Cualquier persona pudo ser nuestro beneficiario anónimo, así que cada uno brilla con una luz adicional debido a su reservada donación.
¿Quiere saber la verdad? Yo estoy más feliz en este minuto porque he pasado este tiempo concentrándome intencionalmente en sus infinitos actos de generosidad. ¡Puedan ustedes encontrar alegría en esta práctica de gratitud y de reconocimiento, también!
Con mi amor,
Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Bells
by Vicky Merryman
I have four grandchildren, two boys and two girls, and three of them were married this summer!
First, my granddaughter Vanessa Molina and Raul Peralez were married May 16 in Oaxaca, Mexico, at Templo de Santo Domingo. Father Thomas from St. Joseph’s Cathedral in San José conducted the ceremony in both English and Spanish. Some 30 family and friends of Vanessa’s father, Juan Molina, came on a chartered bus from Papante, Vera Cruz. Relatives also traveled there from Mexico City, the Bay Area, and Reno. When the happy couple left the church, they were greeted by a band and 10-foot tall dancing figures of a bride and groom. Everyone lit a candle in a paper lantern and marched two blocks to the reception at the El Camino Real Hotel. They honeymooned in Italy and will live in San José.
Second, my grandson Antonio Molina and Jessica Yamamoto were married August 17 in the courtyard at the Westin Hotel in Palo Alto. The Rev. Geoff Rimositis of our church performed the ceremony. Geoff has known the Molina children since they were in grade school. Many of Jessica’s family are Buddhists, and a Buddha was on the right of the bridal bower. He read the vows of Buddhism in which they say “we do,” rather than “I do.” The reception was on the second floor of the hotel. Both Jessica and Antonio grew up in this area, so many long-time friends were there, as well as the Price-Porter family and the Yamamoto family. They honeymooned in Mexico and will live in Cupertino.
Third, my granddaughter Alexis Treacher and Mark Croce were married on September 20 at the Falkirk Rose Garden in San Rafael, CA by the Honorable Mark Simons, a family friend. He mentioned that Alexis’s parents had had their reception there 22 years earlier. Mark’s parents and sister Helen, from Virginia, attended, as did the Price-Porter family. About 30 members of the large Dion family from Canada, of which Alexis’s fraternal grandmother was a member, were there. After the wedding, the couple drove back to Los Alamos, NM, where Mark works at Los Alamos National Laboratory. They will make a permanent settlement when Mark has finished his graduate work there.
Damion Molina, my great-grandson, who was in the two previous weddings, complained before the third wedding about those uncomfortable formal shoes, so his mother said the ushers could choose their own shoes. So Riley Matson, (10) and Damion Molina (11) ushered in their tuxedos and black tennies.
Welcome New Member Ed Gardner
Ed Gardner grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and lived in New Haven, Connecticut and Ann Arbor, Michigan before moving to the Bay Area in 1995. He and his wife, Natalie, are raising their two children: Allie (14) and Russell (12) in the Berryessa neighborhood of San Jose. As an engineer, Ed develops medical devices and currently endures the commute to a startup company in Menlo Park. If the need for employment ended tomorrow, Ed would spend more time backpacking and playing his guitars as well as volunteering for the FUCSJ.
Ways to share your time and talent
Ready to Become a New Member of the First Unitarian Church of San José?
Membership means you have found your spiritual home in Unitarian Universalism and here at FUCSJ; it means you feel called to offer your time, talent, and treasure to help build this Beloved Community. We welcome you!
Please set up a meeting with Rev. Nancy, firstname.lastname@example.org, and then plan to participate in the next New-Member In-gathering!
¿Listo para ser un Nuevo Miembro de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José?
Membresía significa que tú has encontrado tu hogar espiritual en el Unitario Universalismo y aquí en la FUCSJ; significa que tú has sentido el llamado de ofrecer tu tiempo, talento y tesoro para ayudar a construir a esta amada comunidad. ¡Le damos la bienvenida!
Por favor, tenga una reunión con la Rev. Nancy email@example.com y entonces planee participar en el siguiente Reunión de Nuevos Miembros.
These are the volunteer positions most urgently in need of filling. Please take a moment to see if any of these service opportunities are right for you.
- COFFEE HOUR HOST: set out snacks, drinks before service; clean up after; 1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
- LABYRINTH HOST: set up table & music and be present, 11:30-1:00; serve according to availability; 1 yr. term
- WORSHIP HOST: greet & welcome people coming to Sun. service, collect offering; 1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
- SOUND SYSTEM OPERATOR: operate sound system during 9:30 & 11:00 services;1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
- TAPE DUPLICATOR: make & provide tapes of services in HPH after church for 1 ½ hrs.; 1 yr. term
- NEWCOMER TABLE HOST: welcome newcomers, ask to fill out card, give info.;1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
LIVE YOUR VALUESSHARE YOUR TALENTSFORM WARM FRIENDSHIPS
Call Ed at (408) 712-4157.
The all-new all-different Circling Around by Torchy Hunter
As the new editor for Circling Around, I will be accosting people in Hattie Porter Hall wearing my “Tell Me Everything” sign, or, if you’d rather actually think about what you want in here, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to be up to date with you, so here’s what we need: birthdays (especially those with zeros), parties of any kind, promotions, college destinations, anything that you diverse groups are doing is interesting to everyone else. For example, in this issue:
A CURE FOR RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME!
A REVELATION ABOUT REV NANCY!
WHOSE HEAD IS STILL IN THE CLOUDS?
WHO IS GLOATING ABOUT A RECENT TRIP?
WHAT WELL-KNOWN ELDER STATESMAN RECENTLY PASSED A MILESTONE?
See?? This is going to be fun!
Bill Thiemann is 50!!! The beach party celebration lasted way past the birthday… Marilyn Carstens says 3 stalks of celery every night flat out cures restless leg syndrome … Rev Nancy is meeting two men every Friday! Does Kevin know? Shall I reveal it’s two men she and Kevin met once while golfing and now they have a standing date! … Jo Balzer-Carr just cannot resist telling me (jealous) about every single detail of her (and Steve’s) recent three week trip to Greece Humph. This might have to end our watching “Project Runway” together … Dena Dickinson is still in contact and fondly remembering with the great friends who climbed Kilimanjaro … Jean Embree is teaching jammed classes and enjoying successful grandchildren (one of whom is the actress Kate Walsh, as you must know) … Frank Farris will be accompanying the choir, and wants everyone to know he has better rhythm than Dan … Same Dan Zulevic is singing bass in Diane Saichek’s Music Man Stay tuned … Who bites small children and picks fights with vicious dogs? Why Janet De Bartolo’s dog Ziggy, who is being sent to reform school … Mary Mary Feldman’s mom just celebrated her 80th B-Day with a party at the San Mateo UU church, where they sang a song with custom lyrics by Genie Bernardini. Her daughter Maggie is playing water polo! … Did you see Nancy Coleman’s son? He’s Six Four! ...Christy Baker has been willing to give her life for No on 8, recently surviving a 6-car pile up on I-80 with only being banged up. She thanks all of you for your prayers and good thoughts. Can there be any of us who doesn’t know to vote No on 8? … Our Queen of the Clotheshorses Vikki Merryman joined the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Bells last summer, attending the weddings of three of the four grandchildren she raised. Look for a full account above … ALSO!! EXPLOSIVE PICTURES OF THE RETREAT! Below
Watch for me. I’ll be “Circling Around” you. Torchy Hunter
Church Retreat: A View from the Woods
We’re just back from the church retreat at Monte Toyon, and wanting to share some pleasant memories. What a nice time we had this year, even with a little rain! Diana Wirt, Kelly Burnett, and Carol Low, plus all the group and activity leaders, organized many thought-provoking and fun activities, and deserve many accolades (pause for applause!). A fascinating part this year was the invitation to the Mission Peak (Fremont) and Los Gatos fellowships to join us. Several people did come from both churches, and greatly enriched the discussions. A recurring and appropriate theme was “Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold.” Here are a few reminiscences:
Gertrud Cory: For some time I had hoped to get to know the FUCSJ members on a more personal level, but did not seem to get very far during Sunday morning coffee hour or manning the Newcomer’s Table after church services. So the opportunity to join in the Fall 2008 Retreat came just at the right time for me. Am I happy I attended? Was I pleased with getting to meet San Jose UUs up close and personal? Was it a relaxed, fun, as well as thought-provoking weekend? Yes, Yes and Yes again to all three questions. I signed up for a retreat where I could make closer connections with my San Jose UUs and I left with so much more: a feeling of unconditional love and reaching out to this newcomer in your fellowship. Thank you. With love.
Bob Howd: I go to the retreats for thoughtful discussions, for the singing in the evenings, to play board or card games with real people instead of the computer, and for quiet walks in the woods this year I got them all. The weekend was one of the most relaxing times I’ve had in months. It was at least my tenth church retreat, but one of the most enjoyable.
Cecilia Deck: For me, the retreat was a relaxing and inspiring escape from day-to-day life. I spent all day Saturday making crafts in a kind of co-ed modern-day quilting bee. I went with my son Martin, 11, who is old enough not to require constant supervision. He joined with the four other children in attendance in the 10-12 age range as they played beach volleyball in the rain and many hands of Uno in the dining hall while drinking gallons of hot chocolate. Our verdict after Sunday service and one last hike: We left feeling renewed.
Spotlight on Social Justice
By Carol Stephenson, Social Justice Coordinator, email@example.com (408) 292-3858 x27
Proposition and Measure Conversation October 26
Just in time! On Sunday, October 26, the Sanctuary will be full of lively discussion and information about the 2008 California Propositions and county Measures from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you have expertise on a Prop or Measure and would like to present on it, please contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put that important issue in the program. (So far, speakers for 2, for A and against 4 are scheduled) Everyone present can be recognized to speak for or against a Prop or Measure. Time will be left at the end to discuss the Props and Measures not covered in the program. Bring your election booklets and lets get informed!
Day of the Dead 2008: in the Spirit of Human Rights
Together with Third Street Community Center, FUCSJ proudly presents “Día de los Muertos: In the Spirit of Human Rights.” For the second year, Hattie Porter Hall will be transformed by altars that depict social justice issues, this year honoring the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Built by local agencies working to ensure these rights, this year’s collection of altars will depict how one person can make a difference and how we, as a society, can be a part of this change. Join us Saturday, November 1 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. to view these incredible altars, sample Mexican bread & hot chocolate, view a short documentary on Day of the Dead as celebrated in Janitzio, Mexico, and participate in a Calavera show. Children’s activities will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The event is free. For more information contact Carol at (408) 292-3858x27 or email@example.com.
Help build an altar!
FUCSJ will sponsor an altar honoring Article 13, the right to marry, and Article 7, the right against discrimination, for a tribute to the “No on 8” and rights for the GBLT community. To be a part of this, contact Carol at phone and email above.
Social Justice Calendar
- Sunday, October 26, Fireside Room/Sanctuary, 1:00 pm, Election Discussion
- Saturday, November 1, Sanctuary and Hattie Porter Hall, Dia de los Muertos Exhibition
September 8-October 20
Council of Churches Offers “Faithful Citizens Go to the Polls” Fall Film Series in Palo Alto
The Council of Churches of Santa Clara County and Mutlifaith Voices for Justice and Peace are sponsoring a series of timely and informative films. War, climate change, immigration, and globalization will be explored from diverse faith perspectives in this interfaith series to be held in Palo Alto. The series began during the week of September 8. Watch for details and/or visit www.councilofchurches-scc.org for more information.
- “Globalization” featuring keynote address by Raj Patel, author of “Stuffed and Starved” - Monday, Oct. 20, 7:00 pm, First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto
12th Annual PCD Men’s Retreat: It’s All About Showing Up!
Come join men from all around the Pacific Central District for a weekend of fun, community building, kinship, singing, workshops and more! We will be gathering once again at the Westminster Center in Alamo (10 miles south of Walnut Creek) Friday-Sunday, October 17th-19th.
Our theme this year is “It’s All About Showing Up.” Through experiential workshops and kinship groups, we will explore the importance of showing up at the retreat and showing up and being fully present in our lives. There will also be free time on Saturday afternoon and the always-popular No-Talent Show on Saturday night.
The cost for the weekend is $225. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register, go to http://pcd-uua.org/men/frames.htm or contact Harry J. Mersmann at 209-955-0291 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Day of the Dead Performances
Olga Loya’s show always starts with the history of the Day of the Dead and ends with a family story called the Altar, about discovering the power of ceremony, grieving, and joy. The middle of the show is a combination of trickster, love, and ghost stories, showing the sad, scary, funny, and ridiculous side of life and death. She will appear at San José Library branches, DeAnza College, and Evergreen College between October 21 and November 5.
Sunday, October 19
On Sunday, October 19, newcomers and old timers are welcome to join us for a tour of our church. A tour of the building, a discussion about church programs and a short talk about the history of Unitarian Universalism and our own congregation will be included. The tour will take approximately 50 minutes, with a short question and answer period to follow. Please meet Lisa Hettler-Smith at the Newcomer’s Table 15 minutes after the end of the service.
Service is our prayer
Our church affirmation says “Service is our prayer”. Come join us in practicing our faith by providing much needed service to what is dear to us all the building. Organized by the building committee, Service is our prayer day is held once a quarter to maintain and improve our building. Typical tasks include periodic cleaning, various small fix-it projects, painting, pruning and landscaping. All skill levels including no skills are welcome. Children are also welcome. The next Service is our prayer day is November 8th. We begin at 9 with a brief invocation and end around 2pm. A light lunch will be provided.
For Pastoral Care
Our community strives to offer compassion, companionship, healing, and joy to all its members. Our pastoral care coordinators can help you find the listening ear or helping hands that you may need in difficult times.
- For pastoral care in English, please contact our lay Pastoral Associate Coordinator, Rev. Donna Lenahan: (home) 408-354-9024; (cell) 408-204-6565; e-mail: email@example.com.
- For pastoral care in Spanish, please contact our Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contacting the Ministers
Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and Rev. Geoff Rimositis feel honored to serve this congregation, and we cherish your trust! Here is how reach us:
Nuestra comunidad se esfuerza en ofrecer la compasión,el compañerismo curativo, y la alegría a todos susmiembros. Nuestros coordinadores en cuidado pastoral pueden ayudarle a encontrar un oído que escucha, o lasmanos que ayudan cuando ustedes lo pudieran necesitaren épocas difíciles. Para el cuidado pastoral en inglés, por favor, comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador Asociado Laico en Cuidado Pastoral, la Rev. Donna Lenahan: (casa) 408-354-9024; (celular) 408-204-6565; e-mail: email@example.com. Para el cuidado pastoral en español, por favor comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador de los Ministeriosen Español, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contactando a los Ministros
La Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y El Rev. Geoff Rimositis se sienten honrados por servir a esta congregación, y nosotros apreciamos su confianza! Aquí nosotros estamos a su alcance:
Tracy Avent, email@example.com
Bob Redfern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com
POC PERSONNEL OFFICER
Joyce Miller, email@example.com
POC PROGRAM OFFICER
Julia Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org
POC FINANCIAL OFFICER
Christopher Frey, cjfrey@email@example.com
Cheri Goodman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Merritt, email@example.com
Michael Payne-Alex, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marla Scharf, email@example.com
Senior Minister, Ext. 23
The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assoc. Minister For Religious Education, Ext. 25
Office Administrator, Ext. 10
Iris Gonzalez, email@example.com
Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries, Ext. 24
Social Justice Coordinator, Ext. 27
Carol Stephenson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookkeeper / Pam Garcia
Sexton / Edgar Cruz
R.E. Assistant / Alecia Baker
Nursery Teacher / Stacey Vinyard
Thank you to our volunteers!
Our Church Circular is published on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Circulation is about 500.
Editors: Catherine Leeson Pelizzari; Sherry Howd, and Shirley Worth; Circular.Editors@gmail.com
Sherry and/or Shirley will be editors for the October 15 issue. Catherine will be editor for the October 1 and November 5 issues.
Translator: Roberto Padilla
Layout: Henry Ruddle 408-234-3670 henry_L@ruddle.com (www.ruddle.com)
Assembly Coordinators: Gretchen Leavitt and Genie Bernardini; Assembly Crew: Lloyd Eater
Mailing: Libby Codd
Thanks for all the work you do and care you put into the newsletter.
Want to Receive the Newsletter?
To receive the newsletter on paper, fill out the form at this link:
or call (408) 292-3858, ext. 31.
To receive the newsletter via email, emessage email@example.com
Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Next issue assembly: Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Next issue mailing: Wednesday, November 5, 2008